‘It’s one of those places that doesn’t forgive you’ – Smiley on Knockhill qualifying traffic

Chris Smiley talked about the unforgiving nature of doing a qualifying run at Knockhill after claiming P3 on his last flying lap.

Qualifying for Round 13 was closely-fought as the top-26 were covered by 1 second.

This left limited margin for error yet major gains out of tenths-of-a-second in lap time.

Chris Smiley said: “It was that last lap that got it done,” jumping from P7 to P3.

“The traffic absolutely murdered us at the start.

“There were a couple of laps that were up a little bit more, but that’s just how it is around here, it’s one of those places that doesn’t forgive you if you get caught up by a car in front of you.”

He salvaged a challenging weekend at Oulton Park after unavoidable contact with Tom Oliphant during Race 1.

However, his outright pace has been building over the course of the year so far in the Hyundai’s second BTCC season.

BTCC Knockhill: Turkington takes pole in tight qualifying

“The car feels awesome, it has done all day in both the wet and the dry (with the former conditions during Free Practice).

“Qualifying in this championship definitely is key.

“We’ve been working hard on qualifying pace – I haven’t really shown it this year.

“I think I’ll put on a good show from P3.”

Ahead will be the most recent race winner Senna Proctor, and four-time BTCC champion Colin Turkington.

His getaway will need to be clean if he is to keep his podium spot for all 24 laps.

Starting towards the front will be advantageous for Smiley to stay out of the main mid-field pack intensity, though he will take opportunity of his ballast-free hatchback.

The opening race of the day commences tomorrow at 11.45am.